Identifying Gaps in Sales Pipeline
One of the biggest challenges that Sales Professionals face today is to identify gaps in their pipeline. The gap I am referring to is the gap between the sales target or quota and the pipeline value. The type of sales targets that the sales force are given may vary from company to company and industry to industry. The targets can be revenue targets or, revenue targets by product or set of products, or unit targets by product or set of products. In order to help sales professionals identify gaps in their pipeline, the pipeline performance management tool of SAP CRM has been enhanced in version 7.0 to support setting up of different types of sales targets and to help sales professional easily identify gaps in their pipeline. Pipeline performance management in SAP CRM 7.0 comes in the form of four charts, each meant for a specific purpose, and a tightly-integrated quota planning application.
The quota planning application can be accessed either from the Target to Date, Closing date and Sales Pipeline view charts or from the Pipeline Performance Management Area “Quick Links”. Only a user assigned to a position that is marked as “Head of Own Organizational unit” in the organizational model can access the quota planning application. In the quota planning application, a sales manager can set the following types of sales targets:
- Total sales revenue target
- Sales revenue target by product
- Sales revenue target by product category
- Units target by product
- Units target by product category
A sales manager can set the above types of quotas to the employees of the organizational unit that he / she manages and to the organizational units that roll in to his / her organizational unit. The above types of quotas can be set either for a calendar year or for a fiscal year. The application is also capable of generating quota for a calendar or fiscal year by incrementing previous year’s quota by a certain percentage value that is given by the user. The application allows the targets to be set on a quarterly basis. However, the application also allows the users to define the ratio in which the quarterly target needs to be distributed among the months that make up that quarter. Using this feature, it is possible to distribute the Q4’s target of a year as 25% to October, 25% to November and 50% to December.
Once the targets have been set, these targets appear as horizontal black lines in Target to date, Closing date and as vertical black lines in Sales Pipeline view charts. As sales professionals create opportunities, the system automatically updates the charts and provides real time information to the user on the health of the pipeline. In case there is a gap between the target and the pipeline value, the system represents the gap in yellow color on the graph. This way, it is very easy to identify the gaps in a pipeline. The charts allow the user to immediately trigger the right actions to close these gaps and meet the targets.